On 20 November 2017, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh became the first British royal couple to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary. To commemorate this special and historic occasion we have released four collector coins – a 1oz silver proof, a 2oz gold proof, a 1/4oz gold proof and a 2oz platinum coin.
The Queen and Prince Philip first met when she was a girl of 13 at a family wedding in 1934. They met again in 1937, and again in 1939 after which they began exchanging letters.
Philip eventually proposed in 1946 at Balmoral when Elizabeth was 20 years of age and she accepted without consulting her parents, the King and Queen. Her father asked that they delay the formal announcement of the engagement until after her 21st birthday the following April.
The official engagement announcement was finally made on 9 July 1947, and was followed by a garden party the next day at Buckingham Palace to introduce the happy couple.
The Queen, then known as Princess Elizabeth, married the Duke of Edinburgh, known then as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, at Westminster Abbey in London at 11.30am on 20 November 1947. The wedding was attended by 2,000 guests and broadcast to 200 million radio listeners around the world.
The wedding reception was a breakfast held at Buckingham Palace in the Ball Supper Room. The couple received more than 2,500 wedding presents from around the world and approximately 10,000 telegrams of congratulations.
The royal nuptials added a welcome touch of glamour in post-World War II Britain when millions of people were still living in bomb-damaged cities and coping with food rations and coupons. The royal wedding was the first major event in Britain since the end of the war. However, the young Princess Elizabeth – mindful of the sacrifices being made by the people – used ration coupons to purchase the material for her wedding dress which was designed by the Court Designer, Sir Norman Hartnell.
The reverse of each coin depicts the shield from the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom alongside the shield from the Coat of Arms of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The design also includes flowers from the floral emblems of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England, as well as St Edward’s Crown, the inscription 70TH ANNIVERSARY ROYAL WEDDING, the year-dates 1947-2017, and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.
The obverse of each coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2017 year-date and monetary denomination. These coins are issued as Australian legal tender with maximum mintages of only 5,000 of the 1oz silver, 350 of the 2oz gold, 750 of the 1/4oz gold and 250 of the 2oz platinum.